There comes a point in everyone’s life, I’m convinced, where they fall victim to their own self-mythologizing. Or, at least, start their own self-mythologizing, which is practically the same thing as far as I’m concerned; that time in life when you become convinced that everything is exactly right, that your life is full of fascinating things happening and interesting people and that this is the moment that you’ll always remember and that other people would want to know about.
This may, of course, just be my own rationalization for having done it coming into play; my personal self-mythology begins around 1995 and ends about three years later, spanning the end of my art school experience (as a student, at least; the dark lost years of teaching followed, thereby firmly ending a period I’d like to remember). I’m not necessarily sure why I was convinced at the time that those were going to be the Best Days Of My Life – they weren’t, by the way, and I’m still unsure that I’ve found those particular days yet – but I was, and because of that, every day was lived in some strange mix of expectation of the amazing and constant feeling that I should try and remember everything for posterity… both of which held me back, ironically, from actually doing that much worth remembering years later. Instead, I lived a familiar routine of friends and relationships that were almost certainly doomed from the start, of studying during the day and going to the same clubs at night with the same people and listening to the same music week after week.
To put it like that makes it sound more depressing, more mundane than it was – definitely more than it seemed at the time. But when I think back at everything that was happening, and how caught up in it all, I wonder whether the reason I was so convinced that everything that was happening was so special was because I was trying to make it come true by believing hard enough.
(Originally posted July 6, 2009 at iamgraememcmillan.com before it got retrofitted as a work site.)